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An Infamous Man. The Transnational Biographie of Boris Petrovich Tödtli (1901-1944)

The project centres around an unknown and rather dubious person named Boris Tödtli, a Swiss born in Kiev in 1901 who died in Bern 1944 by his own hands. He fought in the Russian Civil War, was a member of the so-called Anti-Semitic International, was head of the Manchurian-based Russian Fascist Party in Europe, conspired against Switzerland and worked for the National Socialists during the World War Two. His personal life was a catastrophe. All three of his marriages failed, and he was never able to hold a permanent job, so he was constantly depended on welfare. Tödtli's life between nationalism and internationalism; between Russia, Switzerland and Germany; between National Socialism and Bolshevism defies common categories, whether historiographical or contemporary. To meet the challenges of the complexity and intricacy of such a life, I use a biographical approach inspired by global history. In doing so global history is not understood as an approach covering as many continents or as much space as possible, but rather as a perspective that focuses on the increasing entanglement between people(s), ideas, events and commodities on different levels and scales, in this case an individual life.

Nature of the project:




Participating researchers:

Dr. Susanne Hohler (LMU)